Republican presidential candidate and front-runner Donald Trump won Kentucky with 35.9 percent of the votes Saturday in the Republican presidential caucus. However, he fell behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 37.26 percent to Trump’s 26.89 percent in Calloway County.
Party leaders wanted to give Kentucky Republicans more influence on the presidential race at a time when candidates are still competing to win more states and delegates to secure the presidential nomination, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“I am encouraged in a sense … that people are talking about it,” said Greg DeLancey, chairman of the Calloway County Republican Party. “More Republicans are animated and out about it. They are coming out in record numbers to vote. Everyone is trying to make their mark. The part I am not so happy about is the silliness that appears in some of the debates.”
Registered Republicans in Calloway County gathered at the George Weaks Community Center to hear more information about the remaining candidates and cast their vote. Voters started to arrive at 10 a.m. and lines wrapped around the building. The line remained long until 4 p.m.
DeLancey said he was happy with the turnout and did not know that there were so many Republicans in Calloway County.
“It has brought people together,” he said. “Nine thousand people registered at the end of last year, and it started getting people talking about how I can make a difference and what can I do.”
The Kentucky Republican party switched from a Republican primary to a caucus to allow Rand Paul, senator from Bowling Green, Kentucky, to remain a senator while running for president. Paul suspended his candidacy in early February. There are only four candidates that have not suspended their candidacy: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich.
Trump has been pulling in a large number of the votes, but has never gotten half of the vote.
“I do not want to be too strict in trying to form Donald Trump to my standards because I think I have higher standards than he does, but he might be the one to win,” said Dan Walker of Murray.
He said he believes that “We the people” are responsible for the government and the president is there to serve the people. He said he is not voting for a king, but for a president.
“I think what is driving Trump and Cruz is widespread alienation,” said Winfield Rose, professor of political science. “People are so alienated and angry with [President Barack] Obama and the way the country is going that they have gone to the person that is the most opposite to the status quo.”
Rose said he prefers Kasich over the other candidates, but does not expect Kasich to win the votes because of his bland personality compared with the others. He said he was impressed with the turnout at the caucus.
Trump also won the Louisiana primary and Ted Cruz won the Maine and Kansas caucuses.